Awesome Exercise for the Upper Back and Lats

Posted on by Ben Bruno

If you read this blog with any regularity or basically anything else I’ve written then you know I’m a huge fan of chin-ups.

In particular, I really like ring chins because they tend to feel better on the elbows and shoulders.

Here’s a ring chin-up variation that I really like because it’s not only joint-friendly but it also absolutely smokes the lats, upper back, and rear delts. As is typical with me, I don’t have a great name for it, so I went with: “Fly Away” Ring Chins.

Pull yourself up like you would a regular ring chin, starting with a pronated grip and supinating your wrists as you pull. From there, flare your elbows out and try to pull the rings apart as you slowly lower yourself down on the eccentric.

It should look like this.

These are tougher than regular ring chins (which are tougher than regular chins) so keep that in mind.

They feel great though, so if you’re looking for something different to smoke your back, look no further.

For more video demos, please subscribe to my You Tube page as I’ve uploaded a bunch of new ones. Thanks!


  • FreakSammy

    Ben, how are these on the elbows? I’ve taken a break from all pullups/chinups until the tendinitis (medial epicondylitis) subsides.

    • Aragus

      These are great for elbows and also if you have shoulder impingement as they allow for natural wrist rotation. Inverted Rows are another exercise that is excellent on rings. Now if I had Fat Gripz they would be even more awesome.

    • Ben Bruno

      Rings will definitely be easier on the elbows than using a straight bar, but I’m not sure they’d be a good exercise if you’re dealing with elbow pain right now. When you do resume with chins though, I think rings will feel better.

  • Keith

    Ben–curious…what’s your height and weight? What does the weight vest weigh? Any recommendations on where to get a good vest?

    • Ben Bruno

      I am somewhere around 5’9″ and weigh around 185 lbs. I would look at Perform Better for a nice weight vest.

  • bender

    no good reads of the week for last week? I really look forward to them haha

  • Stephen Bailey

    Thanks Ben I appreciate your innovative idea’s always good stuff.